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The other morning, my elderly father and I were watching 'Good Morning America'. Marie Kondo was making her first guest appearance on an American morning show, introducing "Spark Joy" (2016), the follow up to "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" (2011, Japanese; 2014, English). My dad watched, shaking his head in wonderment, as the hosts folded t-shirts, making them stand up vertically on their own. I marched Dad to my dresser and displayed my own carefully folded clothes, arrayed by color, standing proudly in the KonMari way. That is, if clothes can feel proud - and In Kondo's world, they do.
"Spark Joy" isn't gong to make a lot of sense without reading/listening to "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" first. Kondo anthropomorphizes clothes, books and even pots and pans. In my first listen of the first book, I mentally made fun of improperly hung unused blouses feeling abandoned, and laughed at thanking worn tennis shoes for their hard work - until I set aside skepticism and tidied my clothes. All those classes in psychology I've taken give me a complex explanation for why what Kondo suggests works, but there's no reason to end up in psychoanalysis on the way to decluttering. Kondo's method works, so go with it - even if it means performing a Japanese purifying rite so you're okay with letting some stuffed animals go.
Both books do work as Audibles. "Spark Joy" comes with a nicely illustrated 57 page .pdf that opens easily in iBooks. I listened to "Spark Joy" while driving and went though the illustrations later. The clothes folding diagrams were really helpful, and I was pleased to realize that I'd gotten most of them right just by listening.
Does the KonMari Method really work? Well, I'm not through my year of tidying and organizing yet. It's going to take me that long because I work full time and have a long commute. I've kept what I've tidied so far neat and organized. Best of all, I stopped buying new things unless they 'spark joy'. Sure, now I've got three pairs of hiking boots - but I smile looking at them. I did find myself tempted to chuck a handful of expensive suits I wear to court appearances, but I decided to think of them as uniforms I needed to do my job. They don't spark joy themselves, but what they enable me to do does spark joy.
Books are next, and I'm looking forward to the challenge. "Spark Joy" helped me realize that for me, a lot of books I have fall into the "komono" - or miscellaneous - category, not "books." I'm a huge Stephen King fan, and a devotee of the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I've indulged myself with a collection of first editions and signed books. I'm going to happily hold onto my King books, my signed Joseph Wambaughs, and my entire signed Jaine Austen (Laura Levine) collection, but donate the books I've picked up over the years and held onto because . . . ? Because, why? I don't even know. I feel less burdened already.
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260 of 273 people found this review helpful
I I've read the first volume the magic of tidying up and I really enjoyed it and I did try to do it but this book is like a follow up a taxi takes you to the nitty gritty of how to do a lot of things that she doesn't touch on in the first book I love this book its the best and I have changed my life in a lot of different ways clearing everything up
36 of 37 people found this review helpful